Run Roon in an iMac or dedicated Mini

I’m running Roon core on a dedicated 2011 Mac Mini and Roon bridge on a 2015 27" iMac I use for web browsing and email. Ethernet goes to an Ayre QX-5 Twenty in my primary setup, and to an ultraRendu and LPS 1.2 with Ayre QB-9 DSD DAC via Google MESH in a secondary setup. It’s been suggested I move core to the iMac. The Mini would become superfluous. Should I move core?

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get a dedicated machine like a roon nucleus or otherwise dedicated server

mac mini's are well documented to have some issues running roon, esp if one uses all the functionality like dsp multiple feeds etc etc

forum member elberoth is selling some roon servers on here, they are terrific, vast cpu and memory to handle any roon application... ask me how i know ... 😁


I agree with JJSS49. If your goal is to get better sound then you might want to consider going to a dedicated server.

I’ll keep an eye out for a used Nucleus at a good price. Meanwhile, core will run in the dedicated 2011 Mini. It has SSD installed. I plan to connect the Ayre QX-5 Twenty and Mini directly to Ethernet, so only the ultraRendu downstairs will use Google MESH.

Upper tier mac minis will easily run all Roon dsp, depending on processor, it may even run most if not all HQPlayer dsp.


Your mini could be upgraded into dedicated server at a price and having to diy. If your going to heavy processing, Nucleus + will be required. You could also do a bare bone or Roon approved NUC with Roon ROCK. Nucleus will be most plug and play solution.

Don’t know if this helps but I have an M1 Mac Mini as my core. Then an internet connection from my router to a Bryston Pi as a Roon endpoint. From the Bryston I use a USB cable into my Ayre QB 9 Twenty DAC. I use my iPad as a remote. The only problem I’ve ever had was when the Roon application crashed on my Mini. 


you were trying to pm me... seems like we have not connected, thanks to the silly a-gon filtering of pm’s between members

anyhow, if you search the a-gon for sale section - just type in 'roon', then hit search, you will soon see @elberoth’s listing for his already-loaded nuc with lots of processing power, ram and music storage hd/ssd options

there is also a roon nucleus i3 for sale on usam, saw it this morning, although the price is not so great

good luck

goofyfoot, how do you like the QB-9 Twenty?  Ayre is working on the parts to upgrade my QB-9 DSD.

dpphd, I originally bought my QB9 when it was in its first form. I believe around early 2011. I compared it to a tube Wavelength DAC at the dealer and the QB9 crushed it. Later Ayre offered a $500.00 upgrade which I opted for and the improvement was very noticeable. But I was not ready for the Twenty upgrade! It is a different DAC altogether. I'm running the DAC to a beast of an amp, an ASR Emitter II Exclusive with HiDiamond interconnects and then to Quad 2905 ESL's with HiDiamond speaker cables. The soundstage is holographic. Fast transients. Deep articulate bass, rich and detailed midrange and the higher frequencies roll off just as one would hope with analogue. I love playing DSD and high definition files. I think you'll be amazed t how good the Twenty sounds regardless of price point. I would add, that my local library fairs better than Tidal or Qobuz but I'm not really set up that well for streaming yet.

goofyfoot, USB from an ultraRendu with LPS 1.2 goes to the Ayre QB-9 DSD, then balanced analog through an Ayre K-5xeMP to Parasound JC 1 monoblocks that drive a pair of KEF LS50s. The LS50s are augmented with a pair of KEF KC62 subs.  It's my secondary setup.  Primary is with QX-5 Twenty to KX-5 Twenty to VX-5 Twenty to KEF Reference 1s. 

dbphd, I use the ISO Regen with LPS 1 but with the QB9 Twenty, it's probably not necessary. I'd like to hear what a difference the Ether Regen would make in streaming however I've got other priorities.